On this date in 1981, MTV began broadcasting, changing the music scene forever.
Elvis Presley released the singles “Blue Suede Shoes” backed with “Tutti Fruitti.”
Chubby Checker released the single “The Twist.”
Elvis Presley released the single “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.”
The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club with Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Mersey Beats.
Elvis Presley’s “(You’re The) Devil In Disguise” hit number one on the UK pop singles chart.
The first issue of “The Beatles Monthly Book” was published.
The band Steam Packet, led by Rod Stewart, opened for the Rolling Stones for two shows in London.
Ringo appeared on the BBC’s “Juke Box Jury.”
Jan & Dean’s “Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” peaked at number three on the pop singles chart.
Dusty Springfield’s “Wishin’ and Hopin’” peaked at number six on the pop singles chart.
Marianne Faithful collapsed during a concert and had to cancel the rest of her tour.
George Harrison and Patti Boyd rented a Los Angeles house on Blue Jay Way, which inspired the song of the same name.
Elvis Presley released the single “Suspicious Minds.”
Santana, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the Moody Blues, and Chicago were among the artists performing at the three day Atlantic City Pop Festival, which began in the New Jersey city on this day.
The movie “Performance” opened in theaters. Mick Jagger had the leading role.
Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart.
Elvis Presley’s single “The Wonder of You” hit number one on the UK pop singles chart.
Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4″ broke into the Top 40.
The first of George Harrison’s two “Concerts For Bangladesh” took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan were among the guest artists contributing to the event.
Rick Wakeman became a member of Yes.
Black Sabbath released the album “Master Of Reality.”
Bill Bruford joined King Crimson. Bruford had been in Yes.
Pete Townshend smashed a plastic ukulele over Eric Clapton’s head after a performance with Keith Moon at Atlanta’s Omni.
Captain & Tennille’s album “Love Will Keep Us Together” was certified Gold.
The Grateful Dead released the album “Terrapin Station.”
George Harrison became a father with the birth of his son, Dhani.
Eric Clapton worked on his album “Backless” at Olympic Studios in London.
The Elvis Presley album “Memories of Elvis” was released.
Michael Jackson released the album “Off The Wall.”
Donna Summer’s single “Hot Stuff” was certified Platinum.
Amii Stewart’s “Knock On Wood” was certified Platinum.
George Harrison formed the company “Hand Made Films Productions, Ltd.”
The album “Elvis Aron Presley” was released.
Journey’s “Who’s Crying Now” and Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” hit the Top 40 chart.
The music industry was forever changed as MTV made its debut at 12:01 a.m. The first music video shown on the music video cable channel was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” MTV’s original five veejays were Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and the late J.J. Jackson.
Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” hit number one on the pop singles chart.
Kenny G released his self-titled album.
Stevie Wonder released the single “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”
Jermaine Jackson appeared in the soap “As The World Turns.”
The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia was released from the hospital following a three week stay. He’d entered the hospital in a diabetic coma.
Barry Manilow released the album “This One’s For You.”
Bob Seger’s “Shakedown” hit number one on the pop singles chart.
Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine’s “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” peaked at number five on the pop singles chart.
ABC’s “When Smokey Sings” broke into the Top 40.
Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey and Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart were married in a ceremony in France.
Debbie Gibson released the video for “Out of the Blue.”
Eric Clapton played a free concert in Mozambique, Africa. He donated money to various charities in the country, which had been ravaged by civil war.
New Kids On The Block’s album “Step By Step” was certified Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum.
Mariah Carey’s single “Vision Of Love” was certified Gold.
Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine’s album “Cuts Both Ways” was certified multi-Platinum.
The Rolling Stones launched the “Voodoo Lounge” tour in Washington, D.C. The band turned down an invitation to play at the White House for President Clinton.
Jimmy Buffett performed at Paul Simon’s 5th annual “Back to the Ranch” benefit in Long Island, New York.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley announced that they got married in May in a private ceremony in the Dominican Republic.
Jimmy Buffett released the album “Barometer Soup.”
A memorial service was held for Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Leon Wilkeson in Jacksonville, Florida.
MTV celebrated its 20th anniversary with a concert in New York. Joan Jett was among those who took part in the festivities.
Elton John spoke and performed at the funeral for his longtime friend and producer Gus Dudgeon, who had recently been killed in a car accident in England.
Aretha Franklin performed at a ceremony renaming a Detroit city park after her late father.
Steven Van Zandt was the host at the launch of a benefit concert series in support of the owner of the New York club CBGB, who was in the middle of a rent dispute and fighting to keep the venue open. The MC5′s Wayne Kramer was among the performers at the event.
Meat Loaf and producer Jim Steinman announced that they’d settled their issues regarding the classic rocker’s use of the phrase “Bat Out Of Hell.”
Tina Turner celebrated her 20th anniversary with German record executive Erwin Bach with a party in Zurich, Switzerland.
The defense completed its presentation in Phil Spector’s murder trial, and the prosecution began its rebuttal case. The producer was facing a murder charge in connection with the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, who died in his Los Angeles-area mansion.
Gerry Rafferty reportedly disappeared from a London-area hospital where he was said to be getting treatment for alcohol-related liver failure.
Aretha Franklin fell in her Detroit home, and fractured her ribs. The Queen of Soul’s injury forced her to cancel two upcoming concerts in New York, including the birthday party for U.S. Representative Charles Rangel.
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Today in Music History is brought to you by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tampa.